Uncovering the true nature of deformation microstructures using 3D analysis methods
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© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.Three-dimensional electron backscatter diffraction (3D EBSD) has emerged as a powerful technique for generating 3D crystallographic information in reasonably large volumes of a microstructure. The technique uses a focused ion beam (FIB) as a high precision serial sectioning device for generating consecutive ion milled surfaces of a material, with each milled surface subsequently mapped by EBSD. The successive EBSD maps are combined using a suitable post-processing method to generate a crystallographic volume of the microstructure. The first part of this paper shows the usefulness of 3D EBSD for understanding the origin of various structural features associated with the plastic deformation of metals. The second part describes a new method for automatically identifying the various types of low and high angle boundaries found in deformed and annealed metals, particularly those associated with grains exhibiting subtle and gradual variations in orientation. We have adapted a 2D image segmentation technique, fast multiscale clustering, to 3D EBSD data using a novel variance function to accommodate quaternion data. This adaptation is capable of segmenting based on subtle and gradual variation as well as on sharp boundaries within the data. We demonstrate the excellent capabilities of this technique with application to 3D EBSD data sets generated from a range of cold rolled and annealed metals described in the paper.
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